By Dr. Becker
Today I’m interviewing Dr. Christina Chambreau, a homeopathic veterinarian who has practiced since 1980 and lectured all over the world. Dr. Chambreau finds it incredible that so many pet owners do exactly what their veterinarian tells them to do, without asking any questions.
She has people ask her, “Dr. Chambreau, should I give heartworm medicine every month all year long?” When she asks them if they understand how pets get heartworm, they have no clue.
She advises pet owners not to give heartworm medicine if they don’t know how their dog gets heartworms, “even if you love your veterinarian and she’s saved two of your dogs’ lives.” Dr. Chambreau believes we must be responsible for each pet we care for.
The Healthy Animal Journal
Dr. Chambreau wrote a book, the “Healthy Animal Journal” to encourage people to monitor their pet’s health. For example, she advises using a treatment sheet to write down every change you make to your pet’s protocol.
Perhaps you started using flower essences, or switched to a raw food diet, or went from raw to a cooked diet, or took your pet for acupuncture treatments on specific dates.
She asks people to list all their pet’s symptoms as well, including the early warning signs of internal imbalance.
By recording all these things, you are no longer blindly following what someone else tells you to do — you’re paying attention to your own animal. You know exactly how he or she is responding.
Also included in your journal would be everything you put in your pet’s mouth, and why you gave it. If you’re giving milk thistle, for example, you need to know why you’re giving it.
It’s wonderful that you’re partnering with your veterinarian to improve the health of your animal, but you also need to understand what you’re doing for your pet, and why.
Safe Natural Therapies for Pets, and the Importance of Understanding the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Them
Dr. Chambreau says there a few 100 percent safe things she would like to see every pet owner doing for their pet. One is reiki or some other energy technique such as theta, quantum power, or reconnective therapy.
Others include flower essences, acupressure and Healing Touch for Animals, which are also 100 percent safe. But she emphasizes, you should still know how they work and why you’re using them.
And that advice is especially important when you are using therapies that aren’t 100 percent safe for every pet, for example, essential oils, or a raw diet. You need to ask yourself, “Does this feel right to me? Does this feel right for my animal?” says Dr. Chambreau.
A Western medicine example is heartworm prevention drugs. As Dr. Chambreau points out, if a mosquito is carrying infective heartworm larvae and the temperature drops below 65 degrees for a week (or even for a day), that mosquito is no longer carrying the infective larvae.
So do you need to give a heartworm preventive in the winter in Chicago? Of course not, which is why you need to know what you’re giving your pet and why. It’s wonderful to consult with your veterinarian, however, having blind faith in any single individual can be dangerous.
We must take responsibility for the animals we have committed to care for, and part of that responsibility is knowing exactly what we’re doing for them, and why.
We certainly need to partner with a veterinary healthcare team we trust, but that does not absolve us of our ethical responsibility as pet owners to know what we’re doing.
Coaching and Consultations for Concerned Pet Parents
In addition to writing the “Healthy Animal Journal,” Dr. Chambreau has created a coaching practice to help pet owners make better choices and empower themselves to take better care of their pets. She’s teaching people how to become advocates for their animal companions.
People use Skype to contact her from all over the U.S. and around the world. They ask questions like, “What can I do? My dog has pancreatitis. He isn’t responding to treatment, and now my vet says we may have to take the gall bladder out because there’s sludge in there. Do I need to do that?”
Dr. Chambreau coaches pet owners through such situations and helps them make educated choices. She’s filling a great niche in the veterinary community. Many vets schedule 10- to 20-minute appointments, and there’s little to no time to answer pet owner questions.
Dr. Chambreau is providing a great resource in helping pet guardians find the answers they seek. She also offers second opinion guidance when pet owners aren’t convinced their animal is improving under their regular vet’s care.
As Dr. Chambreau points out, it’s a matter of understanding that deeper (root) problems resolve first. So, for example an itchy, miserable dog may still be itchy, but may be feeling much happier and more energetic, in which case the treatment is working.
If, on the other hand, the dog is no longer itching but still isn’t doing well overall, it’s very likely the treatment temporarily resolved the symptom (itchiness), but not the underlying problem. In those cases, the pet owner needs to explain their concerns to their veterinarian, or look for another one.
I very much appreciate the service Dr. Chambreau is providing to pet guardians and the time she spent with me today!